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The team at Texas Farmers’ Market is working diligently to keep our markets open and safe for our customers, vendors, and operations crew. While we love that our markets are built on a central core of conversation, gathering and community, it is critical that our markets be a food access point right now and not a space for socializing.
We have developed these dozen tips to help make your trip to the farmers’ market as safe as possible in order to protect you, our vendors and our staff. We can only keep the markets safely open if our shoppers help us by following these new guidelines. Thank you for doing your part to protect yourself and your community, while supporting the local farmers, ranchers and small businesses who are on the frontlines working hard to feed us.
In this new world formed under the cloud of COVID-19 there are 3 additional challenges farmers markets need to deal with:
1) Ensuing only a certain number of people are in the market at any time
2) Managing the line of people/cars outside the market waiting to get in.
3) Trying to have a steady flow of people throughout the day.
While thinking of these challenges, I came up with a solution that will
1) Allows customer to see online how long the wait is to get into the market
2) Shows market management the total visitor count and how many people are in at any point of time
3) Lets people add themselves to a virtual queue and wait anywhere or in their car till they are called in. This will avoid a long line of cars or people blocking other traffic.
The purpose of this Extension publication is to provide interested Extension agents, farmers market staff and vendors with lighthearted and effective examples of social distancing signage for potential utilization at farmers markets in Virginia operating during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. An important key to implementing social distancing measures recommended by governmental officials is the utilization of easy to understand and informative signage. Conspicuously displaying effective signage throughout a farmers market environment to prompt, remind and encourage both vendors and visitors of the importance of social distancing to prevent person-to-person spread of the COVID-19 virus assists in safe market operation during the pandemic.
Farmers Market Coalition urges federal, state, and local leaders to protect our nation’s food producers and farmers markets through federal stimulus and clear operational guidelines
Washington, D.C., March 18, 2020 – Congress is close to passing its second multi-billion dollar stimulus package and is hard at work on a third – this one focused on small businesses. As a national nonprofit organization providing support to 1,200 market organizations representing nearly half of all farmers markets in the United States, Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) urges Congress to ensure that the next stimulus package explicitly includes support for family farm businesses and farmers markets. Farmers markets are a vital economic force in America, both locally and nationally, accounting for $711 million in sales annually. By providing much-needed relief in the next stimulus package, Congress can keep the economic engine of America’s farmers markets humming, while also providing much needed food access to consumers across the country.
“Farmers markets deserve to be included in the federal aid package.” said Ben Feldman, Executive Director of FMC. “Unfortunately, neither of the first two packages are guaranteed to provide aid to American farmers who sell directly to the public, nor to the communitybased organizations who operate farmers markets. Farmers are America’s original small businesspeople, and farmers markets are an essential food access point for communities seeking fresh, healthy food – in particular for low-income families who are able to access the freshest fruits and vegetables through markets’ SNAP EBT and WIC programs.”
“COVID: What Can Government Officials Learn from Farmers Market Managers?”
Farmers markets operate on a few simple principles:
- They connect locally produced crafts and foods with consumers.
- They are places consumers practice community.
- They convey information and opportunities people will discover and make their own.
For generations, marketplaces have contributed to the community in many ways:
- Promoted individual and public health,
- Served as conduits for information and healthy food,
- Offered opportunities for exercise and social life,
- Provided learning opportunities for immigrants and every other sector of a community.
“Farmers markets are vital during COVID-19, but they need more support”
- FULFILLING ESSENTIAL HEALTH AND ECONOMIC NEEDS
- ADAPTING TO PUBLIC HEALTH REALITIES
- FARMERS MARKETS NEED MORE SUPPORT
This resource has been developed for farmers markets, based on the original essential business exemption guidelines, plus the newest retail guidelines and restaurant guidelines available from the Oregon Health Authority, and has been reviewed and approved by state officials at the Oregon Department of Agriculture as appropriate interpretations for the farmers market community.